Ifab: Talks over 'more attractive' offside law

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Patrick Bamford’s offside against Crystal Palace on 7 November was called ‘the worst decision in the history of football’

Changes to the offside law have been discussed at a meeting of football’s lawmakers with a view to favouring the attacker.

The use of video assistant referees has resulted in several controversial borderline calls this season.

But at a meeting of Ifab’s football and technical panels on Monday, talks were held about making the law “more attractive and dynamic”.

It was also shown how VAR could be used at lower levels of football.

Fifa introduced how “more affordable VAR systems” could be used “to allow competition organisers with more limited budgets to be able to access and use VAR technology.”

During the video conference meeting chaired by Ifab director and Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford, it was also accepted that the interpretation of handball incidents “has not always been consistent” and the panel supported further clarification.

It was re-emphasised that the final judgment remains with the referee and not every touch of a player’s hand or arm with the ball is an offence.

After his team’s defeat by Tottenham on Sunday, which saw Gabriel Jesus’ goal ruled out for handball, Manchester City captain Kevin de Bruyne said: ”I don’t know the rules anymore honestly.

”I’ve been playing professional football for 12 years and in the first nine years there were no rule changes. Now there are a lot of rule changes.

“I don’t know why. Football is a nice game.”

Regarding the offside law, it was made clear that if any concrete proposal was to be considered, it would also “need to be applicable at all levels of the game” and that “trials would be necessary before a law change could be proposed”.

Concussion subs ‘as soon as possible’

The meeting also confirmed that Ifab supported the trial of concussion substitutes “as soon as possible”.

Confirmation of a change to the current law, which BBC Sport understands would allow additional replacements for both teams, would be confirmed at next month’s annual business meeting.

It is understood that temporary substitutions for head injuries were discussed but that permanent replacements are set to be the preferred option so that the same rules can be used at all levels of football.

The English Football Association could introduce them as early as the FA Cup third round in the men’s and women’s competitions in January.

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